Honor Flight Announces Rochester Hub Formation

Contact: Vince Hope, Vice President
Honor Flight Rochester, Inc.
[email protected]

Veterans’ Welcome Home Celebration Set for June 22

Second Honor Flight Rochester, NYRochester, New York. Honor Flight, the private not-for-profit organization dedicated to flying WWII veterans to visit their memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. announces the addition of Rochester, NY as the newest of its 72 community “hubs” across the country.

Begun in 2005 with six private planes ferrying 12 Honored WWII veterans, the national Network is working now in 2008 to fly up to 1,000 veterans and their “guardians” each and every week through November, the culmination of this year’s flying season.

Second Honor Flight Rochester, NYThe formation of a hub in Rochester “will allow us to take hundreds of area vets to see the Memorial built in their honor, rather than the handful that have been privileged to travel so far,” explained Kathleen Wall, founding President of Honor Flight Rochester. Kathleen and her husband Patrick, of Geneseo, experienced Honor Flight with her father, uncle and several veteran friends this past April, and arrived home energized to expand the opportunity to all Rochester veterans.

“But the news isn’t about us, it’s about our heroes – our mothers and fathers – who sacrificed in the 1940’s so that we could enjoy the lives we lead today,” said Wall. “And the news is about their memorial and our simple way of saying thanks by helping those who otherwise would never see the magnificent monument built in their honor.”

Ten Rochesterians are on an Honor Flight this weekend, after a year on the national waiting list. They return to Rochester International Airport Sunday June 22, on AirTran #486 scheduled for arrival at 1:40 p.m. Six WWII veterans will be arriving home accompanied by 4 guardians.

“We celebrate our formation,” said Wall, “by inviting the public to join us at the airport Sunday for a heroes homecoming. We hope entire families can be there. Our gratitude should be shared and felt by all generations. What better way to begin Rochester’s own Honor Flight.”

Members of the new local Honor Flight Board expect to be joined by members of American Legion and VFW posts, other veteran’s and community groups and their families. Also on hand will be two WWII vets who have flown on Honor Flights earlier this year and know the thrill of the experience. Tom Hope of Brighton traveled with his son Vince as guardian in April. Norman Bachman from Irondequoit just made the trip two weeks ago on the maiden flight with a newly formed hub in Buffalo/Niagara, where he was accompanied by the founder of Honor Flight, Earl Morse of Springfield Ohio.

Second Honor Flight Rochester, NYOther founding Rochester Board members besides the Walls, and the younger Hope, include Jeff and Kim Gould, Bette Daloia and Ron Pettengill, all of Webster; Peter Glennon of Brighton and Ed “Woody” Mench of Pittsford. The HonorFlightRochester.org website will be going live shortly and the new organization is now opening its doors for veteran travel applications, donations and sponsoring partnerships. Free Honor Flights are made available to all area WWII Veterans on a first come, first served basis, and to veterans of any age who may suffer from a terminal illness. Inquiries should be directed to [email protected].

To augment Sunday’s event coverage, news organizations can reserve a photo cd of the Hope’s Honor Flight in April with an advanced phone call.

Mission 82 (51 vets)
April 20-21
Mission 83 (62 vets)
May 25-26
Mission 84 (60 vets)
June 15-16
Unfortunately veterans cannot choose what flight they will travel on due to medical and logistic issues associated with the flight process. We also encourage veterans from the Syracuse and Buffalo area's to visit and register with their local Honor Flight hubs before registering with Rochester Honor Flight.